A 1987 espionage thriller, The Whistle Blower stars Michael Caine as Frank Jones, a businessman and regular patriotic war veteran whose son Bob (Nigel Havers) is a Russian linguist who works at GCHQ. Bob begins to express doubts to his father about aspects of his work; days later, police report to Frank that his son has died in a fall. A verdict of accidental death is recorded. However, in the midst of his grief, Frank is puzzled by aspects of the death and decides to conduct his own investigation. In so doing he finds himself pitted against an utterly unscrupulous... Secret Service prepared to stop at nothing, including murder, to cover up their operations. Set at the time when concerns about GCHQ were at their height and the Cold War had yet to thaw, many of the film's concerns seem, years subsequently, to be thankfully dated. Moreover, it's hard to believe that the bumbling British Secret Services would actually be capable of organising a convivial soiree in a brewery, let alone orchestrate the sort of skulduggery they perpetrate here. Still, with a cast that features all the usual British suspects (Sir John Gielgud, James Fox, Gordon Jackson) there's no doubting the pedigree of The Whistle Blower, which, despite its ostensibly uncomfortable message, actually makes for very agreeable comfort viewing. Michael Caine is especially fine as Michael Caine. --David Stubbs [show more]
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